Tiny Habits

12:15 AM Amer Bekic 0 Comments

The definition of tiny habit says it's an activity that

    -you do at least once a day,
    -take you less than 30 seconds,
    -require little effort.

Tiny habits were invented by BJ Fogg from Stanford University as a result of his study on behavioral change. They are the tool for common mortals to learn the nits and grits of the process of habits development.

I won't go into the details of my study about the etymology of word 'habit,' but it clearly revealed that your habits decides on who you are.

Thus, any tiny habit in itself is life changing. If you learn how to develop habits, you and your life will never be the same. I didn't learn habit development art by practicing tiny habits, but I can confirm, that one's life changes, when his habits change.

Here is the really tiny habit that has not only potential ("could be"), but the real power of changing lives:

It has a power of setting your brain to positivity. Experiments confirmed that it's enough to came up with three new reasons for being grateful for one month to change hardcore pessimists into optimists.
Why is that important? Will those "newly created" optimist going around in blissful state with goofy smiles and saliva in the corners of their mouths? Nope. Their brains will be positive. Here what happens when your brain is positive:

“Every possible outcome we know how to test for raises dramatically.”

Cultivating gratitude is one of the easiest habits on earth. I started from jotting down 1 to 3 things about my wife in a dedicated gratitude diary.
Let it sink. Tiny habit, less than 30 seconds a day. Every measurable output increases.

How's that for a life change?

The above revelations are the result of scientific studies and they are right at the general level. Let me tell you a couple of stories that demonstrates the power of gratitude on individual level.

Stronger Than Death

I have a friend, let's call her S. She had been keeping a gratitude diary for well over a year when her boyfriend died a car accident. Can you imagine more excruciating experience? Her whole world fall apart in a single moment. But she had a gratitude habit. Habits are not to be taken lightly. They are hardcoded in the most primal part of your brain. It's not easy to get rid of them.

She kept her gratitude diary even throughout that dark time. It helped her to stayed sane.
Today she is in a new relationship and her gratitude streak is well over 1,000 days long.

Saving Relationships

As I mentioned above, my adventure with gratitude started from a diary about my wife. As the proper tiny habit it opened doors for more gratitude into my life. Now I thank for everything. I started also separate gratitude journals about my kids and about my days. I'm a gratitude journal.

I'm deeply thankful for this first small habit however. The last three years were tough on our marriage. It was the usual story: years of marriage, routine, boredom, complement, wont creeping in. I decided to turned my life around and my wife was absolutely not prepared for that. Quite often she said "I don't recognize you." This was obviously all "her fault," (blaming is the easiest way in the relationship, isn't it?), however the daily act of conscious effort of looking for something to be grateful for in or about her, helped me to keep the right perspective.

I don't claim that if not my gratitude journal we would have been divorced or some other tragedy would have happened. This very tiny discipline just made this whole turmoil in my life and marriage more bearable. I could diminish my ego a bit.

Begin in a Tiny Way

Every morning (morning shapes your day), take a journal and note down at least one thing you are grateful for. If you can come up with 100, that's fine, but 1 is enough. If you can elaborate why you are grateful for that, that's fine, but focus on writing this one thing first. It should be a new thing every day.

There is no excuse for not doing this, including the one my rebellious teenager throw at me: "I don't know what I'm grateful for." Everything can be a starting point: air, water, food, shelter, body or its parts...

If S. found reasons to be grateful for after her boyfriend's death, you surely can find something too.